New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to Sher Singh Rana, the lone person convicted in the killing of bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi, on a city police plea challenging his acquittal from the charge of criminal conspiracy.
A division bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Ashutosh Kumar asked Rana to file a reply on the police plea and fixed the matter for Jan 22.
The court also sought responses from three other co-accused — Dhan Prakash, Shekhar Singh and Sharavan Kumar.
The police plea said the trial court wrongly freed the accused.
The trial court Aug 14 last year awarded life term to Rana, who had gunned down Phoolan Devi – once popularly known as “Bandit Queen” – July 25, 2001 to avenge the 1981 Behmai massacre in which she killed 17 people from the Thakur community.
The court convicted Rana on charges of murder and attempt to murder with common intention. However, he was acquitted of criminal conspiracy and under the Arms Act.
At the time of her murder, Phoolan Devi – whose dramatic life inspired many books and internationally acclaimed movie “Bandit Queen” – was a Samajwadi Party parliamentarian from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.
She was shot dead outside her residence in New Delhi by Rana and his associates, police said.
Besides Rana, there were 11 other accused in the case. One of them, Pradeep, died of a heart attack in Tihar jail in November 2013 and the rest were let off.
Rana was arrested July 27, 2001. However, in 2004, he fled from the high security Tihar jail. In 2006, he was arrested in Kolkata, brought back to Delhi and lodged again in Tihar jail.